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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Sep 7, 2017 2:25 pm 
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If I remember right, Snoopy got shot down by the Red baron behind enemy lines Image
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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Sep 7, 2017 3:47 pm 
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Scout wrote:
If I remember right, Snoopy got shot down by the Red baron behind enemy lines Image
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Depends on which dogfight you looked at:

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Sep 8, 2017 9:02 am 
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Who Was Hernando (Hernan) Cortes And Where Did He Come From?

Hernando Cortes, a Spanish explorer, arrived at the coast of present-day Mexico in 1519 with an army of about 350 soldiers.

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Hernán Cortés de Monroy y Pizarro Altamirano

Cortes was searching for a great city rumored to be full of riches. As they moved inland, Cortes and his men battled some of the Natives they met, but they were able to persuade many others to join them.

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Fights some…

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… befriends others

Nearly 1,000 natives, tired of paying tribute and supplying human sacrifices, joined up to fight alongside the European strangers against their enemies in the Aztec capital.

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As Cortes approached Tenochtitlan, he was met by ambassadors sent by Montezuma, then the Aztec ruler. They gave the Spaniards gifts, and when they arrived in the city, Montezuma himself welcomed them as guests.

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Montezuma welcomes Cortes


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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Sep 9, 2017 8:33 am 
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How Were The Hawaiian Islands Formed From Volcanoes?

The Hawaiian volcanoes could be said to be more creative than destructive.

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Age of Hawaiian island chain

Volcanic activity built this chain of islands, and the only known deadly eruptions killed a division of the Hawaiian army—in 1790—and one other person—in 1924. The 1969 eruption took no lives.

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1790

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1924

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1969

Four shield volcanoes make up the island of Hawaii. Mauna Kea first grew to 13,825 feet (4,200 meters) above water. The smaller volcanoes, Kilauea and Haulalai, then sprouted from its sides. Further internal volcanic activity then created Mauna Loa, 13,678 feet (4,169 meters) in the air. The mild nature of these volcanoes allowed the United States to open them, and Haleakala on nearby Maui, as the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

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Since 1911, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory on Hawaii has gathered an immense amount of data and information on volcanology, the study of volcanoes.

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Post Posted: Sep 10, 2017 8:49 am 
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Where Can You See The Atlantic And Pacific Oceans At The Same Time?

The Atlantic and Pacific Oceans are more than 2,500 miles apart in most of North America.

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But in some places in Central America, the world’s two biggest oceans are separated by less than 50 miles of land.

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Panama is the narrowest part of Central America, but there are no mountains in Panama that offer a view of both oceans.

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However, there is a peak in the neighboring country of Costa Rica, the 11,325-foot Mount Irazu. From that peak (on a clear day) you can see both oceans!

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Mount Irazu

Oh, and did I mention that Mount Irazu is an active volcano? While it is open to the public, I’d keep an eye out for those pesky lava flows anyway… you never know.

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Sep 11, 2017 8:48 am 
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Would You Stay At Nevada's Clown Motel?

While Nevada’s Clown Motel may seem like the product of a horror writer’s fevered imagination with its army of glassy-eyed clown dolls and convenient proximity to a Wild West cemetery that holds the (possibly unquiet) remains of local miners, the dusty little lodging is just a fan of merriment. Or so they swear.

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In the front office of the Clown Motel sits a life-sized clown holding two smaller clowns, among the plethora of clown posters, dolls, toys, and more. There are more than 600 clowns in the front office alone. The management maintains that the motel is not meant to be creepy. Instead, the motel owners just really like clowns, and are not trying to prey upon coulrophobics (people with a fear of clowns).

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Next door to the motel is something perhaps creepier: a 100-year-old miners' cemetery. If you need another reason to fear clowns, consider this Google review of the Clown Motel by Dean Artillio: "I'm a clown so I loved this place. Clean rooms and a great cemetery next door from 1901." Who just casually mentions a "great cemetery" next to a motel? A clown, that's who.

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It is speculated that the fear of clowns may have begun when "killer clown" John Wayne Gacy killed 33 people in the 1970s. The news of Gacy inspired a string of terrorizing clowns in pop culture, a connotation that still exists today.

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Sep 11, 2017 10:54 am 
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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Sep 12, 2017 8:52 am 
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Pluto's Features Get Official Names

Remember Pluto? Our distant solar system cousin got bumped from the ranks of the planets back in 2006. But now, the same agency that kicked Pluto down a notch is finally showing it some love. The features of our favorite dwarf planet finally have some names, and they're pretty cool, too.

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The Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature (WGPSN) of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) has officially approved the names of 13 features on the surface of Pluto. Some of these were suggested by the public.

Tombaugh Regio: In honor of Clyde Tombaugh (1906-1997), the U.S. astronomer who discovered Pluto in 1930 from Lowell Observatory in Arizona.

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Burney Crater: In honor of Venetia Burney (1918-2009), who suggested the name "Pluto" as an 11-year-old schoolgirl. Later in life she taught mathematics and economics.

Sputnik Planitia: A large plain named after Sputnik 1, the first space satellite, launched by the Soviet Union in 1957.

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Tenzing Montes and Hillary Montes: Naturally, these are mountain ranges honoring Tenzing Norgay (1914-1986) and Sir Edmund Hillary (1919-2008), the Indian/Nepali Sherpa and New Zealand mountaineer who were the first to reach the summit of Mount Everest and return safely.

Al-Idrisi Montes: In honor of Ash-Sharif al-Idrisi (1100-1165/66), a noted Arab mapmaker and geographer whose landmark work of medieval geography is sometimes translated as "The Pleasure of Him Who Longs to Cross the Horizons."

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Djanggawul Fossae: This is a network of long, narrow depressions named for the Djanggawuls, three ancestral beings in indigenous Australian mythology who traveled between the island of the dead and Australia, creating the landscape and filling it with vegetation.

Sleipnir Fossa: Named for the powerful, eight-legged horse of Norse mythology that carried the god Odin into the underworld.

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Virgil Fossae: Honoring Virgil, one of the greatest Roman poets and Dante's fictional guide through hell and purgatory in the Divine Comedy.

Adlivun Cavus: A deep depression named for Adlivun, the underworld in Inuit mythology.

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Hayabusa Terra: A large land mass saluting the Japanese spacecraft and mission (2003-2010) that returned the first asteroid sample.

Voyager Terra: In honor of the pair of NASA spacecraft, launched in 1977, that performed the first "grand tour" of all four giant planets. The Voyager spacecraft are now probing the boundary between the sun and interstellar space, carrying the sweet music of Chuck Berry to any aliens who want to listen.

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Tartarus Dorsa: A ridge named for Tartarus, the deepest, darkest pit of the underworld in Greek mythology.

Elliot Crater: In honor of James Elliot (1943-2011), an MIT researcher who pioneered the use of stellar occultations to study the solar system, leading to discoveries such as the rings of Uranus and the first detection of Pluto's thin atmosphere.

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Post Posted: Sep 13, 2017 8:43 am 
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The Grand Tsingy In Madagascar Is A Deadly Forest Of Limestone Needles

Not unlike the movie of the same name, Madagascar is a wild, unique place. (Great flick, by the way.) The African island nation is home to a slew of endemic species and breathtaking natural landscapes to match. All that considered, it shouldn't be too shocking to hear that the country boasts the world's largest stone forest. It has a smaller one that's bright red, too. Yes, I’m sure this isn't Mars.

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The Grand Tsingy

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The Red Tsingy

The fourth largest island on Earth(!), Madagascar is home to plenty of double-take-worthy sights. The country developed independently, which sets the culture apart from the rest of eastern Africa. Because the country was under French rule until 1960, there is evidence of French architecture throughout the cities. Mixed in with the old colonial vibe, the island's original wooden architectural tradition can also be found, a tradition that was added to the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2003. But let's talk nature too. First of all, lemurs. Second, tsingys. Third, lemurs on Tsingys. Just keep reading.

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Lemurs on Tsingys

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In Malagasy, "tsingy" means "where one cannot walk barefoot." And that's no joke. The word refers to tall, thin, needle-like rock formations that can be found throughout the country. Not to freak you out, but just one misstep through a tsingy forest could impale somebody.

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The Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is the largest example of a tsingy forest on Earth. How big? The reserve, which includes the veritable cathedral of limestone, stretches 375,600 acres. But the height is the really scary part; some of the rock pinnacles can reach 2,600 feet. Not only a stunning and/or terrifying sight to behold, this Tsingy in central west Madagascar is also a hub for endemism, as it's home to many unique endangered flora and fauna (including — you guessed it — lemurs).

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NASA notes that the formation of the Tsingy began some 200 million years ago when layers of calcite at the bottom of a lagoon formed a thick limestone bed. Later, "tectonic activity elevated the limestone, and as sea level fell during the Pleistocene ice ages, even more of the limestone was exposed. No longer underwater, the ancient sediments were carved by monsoon rains, which washed softer rocks away and left tougher rocks standing. Meanwhile, groundwater carved caves below the surface. As cave ceilings gave way, canyons formed between rocky towers."

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Need something a little more Instagrammable? Tsingy Rouge is another stone forest you can find in the country. Oh, but this one is bright red. This Mars-like Madagascar landscape is the beautiful result of erosion.

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Post Posted: Sep 14, 2017 8:47 am 
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The Haskell Free Library & Opera House Straddles Two Countries

You enter the Haskell Free Library and Opera House in Derby Line, Vermont, but if you venture toward the nearby bookshelves, you'll find yourself in Stanstead, Quebec. The building sits directly on the border between the U.S. and Canada, and its unusual location is no accident.

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The library was commissioned by Martha Stewart Haskell and her son Colonel Horace Stewart Haskell in dedication to Mrs. Haskell's late husband, Carlos. Carlos Haskell had been a prominent merchant in the border community, so the building was erected as a gift to the Americans and Canadians who called the area home.

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Its spot on the border gives it a few remarkable claims to fame: since the library books and circulation desk are on the Canadian side but the entrance is on the U.S. side, the building has been called the only library in the U.S. with no books. Likewise, the opera-house stage is in Canada and its seats are in the U.S., so it's the only U.S. opera house with no stage.

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And though the building was conceived as a gift to both countries, the border on each side of the building is fenced off.

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The only way to walk freely between Derby Line, Vermont and Stanstead, Quebec is to visit the library.

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 Post subject: Re: Interesting Facts
Post Posted: Sep 15, 2017 8:54 am 
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What Were The First Roads In The Americas?

Before Columbus sailed for the New World, the Inca Indians had already built an empire in South America that stretched over 2,500 miles.

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Inca road network

And long before the first highways were built in the United States, the Incas had already built the first large road system ever constructed in the Americas.

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The Inca roads stretched from Colombia to Chile, connecting all points of their empire with their capital city of Cuzco, in Peru. Some of the roads reached heights of 10,000 feet as they wound through the Andes Mountains. At many points, the roads were lined with stone walls, and had many enclosed stations along the way to provide shelter for travelers in storms.

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Inca Switchbacks

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Typical Inca Road

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Inca Rest Station

The Incas also built many bridges and tunnels along the mountainous routes. One of the tunnels was more than 700 feet long. The longest rope-cable bridge was almost 150 feet long, spanning a river gorge 118 feet deep. Until the bridge fell early this century, it was the longest-used bridge in all the Americas!

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Inca Wooden Bridge

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Inca Tunnel

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Inca Rope Bridge

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Post Posted: Sep 16, 2017 8:53 am 
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It Took A Working-Class Clockmaker To Figure Out Longitude

Among the many modern conveniences we take for granted is our location in the world. Look at a map on your phone, and satellites triangulate your location in the form of a little blue dot on the screen. Easy! But centuries ago, things weren't that simple. It was so difficult to know where you were at sea that thousands died in shipwrecks each year. That led many governments to offer a cash prize to anyone who could come up with a solution to this problem.

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In Britain, that was the 1714 Longitude Prize, and despite the hard work of astronomers, it eventually went to a working-class clockmaker named John Harrison.

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John Harrison

Longitude and latitude are generally considered two sides of the same coin, but when it came to navigation in the 1700s, they were nothing alike. Latitude was easy: use a sextant to measure the angle of the sun at its highest point, and you knew how far north or south you were from the equator. But longitude was a whole other ballgame. Because the Earth rotates about 15 degrees every hour, traveling east and west changes the time of sunset: every 15 degrees you travel changes sunset by an hour. If you know the time where you are and the time in another known location, you can use the difference between them to work out your longitude: every four minutes means one degree difference in longitude.

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The problem was that clocks weren't very accurate, especially not on ships. The state-of-the-art clocks of the time used pendulums, and when you expose the steady beat of a pendulum to the chaotic churn of the sea, well, you don't have a steady beat anymore. One solution was to avoid using clocks altogether, and instead relying on the motion of the moon relative to the stars. But that took a lot of astronomical prediction and even more advanced instruments, so that was also a problem.

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In 1714, the British government put up a prize of £20,000 (about £3.5 million today) that would go to anyone who could find longitude to within half a degree. Nobody had claimed the prize a decade later when John Harrison came to London, hoping to claim it himself. The first clock he developed used two double-ended pendulums, and despite the waves, it actually did fairly well on a trial journey to Lisbon in 1736. Britain's Commissioners of Longitude weren't satisfied with the results, but they agreed to fund Harrison's future efforts in hopes he might create a better timekeeper.

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H1

He created two more models until he hit upon the invention that would change the world: H4, a sort of oversized pocket watch but with much more powerful internal components that made it tick five times per second.

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H1 through H4

John was pushing 70 by this point, so the Commissioners agreed to let his son William test it out on a journey to Jamaica. It succeeded with flying colors, and despite some political drama, Harrison eventually got the £20,000 prize. Harrison's marine chronometer eventually combined with more accurate celestial measurements to help sailors pinpoint their place on the planet. What's more, it made a successful end to what some call the world's first crowdsourcing event.

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HMS Deptford

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